Top 5 Mistakes Injured Workers Make After Accidents
Imagine suffering an injury at work today. Would you know what to do next? Are you sure you’d handle it correctly?
It’s common for injured workers to inadvertently do things wrong, putting themselves at risk. Here are the top five mistakes to avoid after a workplace injury.
1- Failing to Report Your Injury
One of the most common errors is not telling anyone about your accident. If the injury doesn’t seem serious, you shake it off and forget about it.
This is a big mistake that could be detrimental to your health. At home later, when the adrenaline wears off and the pain kicks in, it could be clear that your injury is much more serious than you first thought.
Many injuries are hard for the average person to detect and require a doctor’s diagnosis. Consider something as simple as banging your head into a piece of equipment at work. Hours later, you develop a splitting headache and start to feel dizzy. You could have a mild traumatic brain injury known as a concussion, which requires a period of rest, darkness, and a gradual return to work activities.
If you hadn’t notified your workplace about the injury the previous day, they might question whether it happened at home or someplace other than work. This puts your workers’ compensation claim in jeopardy. Always notify your supervisor immediately after any workplace injury, even if it’s minor.
2- Not Requesting a Copy of the Accident Report
The next mistake is failing to request a copy of the accident report from your workplace. When you notify your employer about what happened, they’re supposed to make an incident report and give you a copy of it.
Unfortunately, employers sometimes try to avoid dealing with workplace accidents by failing to write reports and ignoring the employees’ concerns. They might attempt to disavow any knowledge of the accident and claim you never reported anything.
Ask for a copy of the accident report and ensure it contains correct information with the date, location, and details of your injury. If your employer is refusing to write a report or disagrees about the details, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer urgently to protect your rights.
3- Not Seeking Immediate Medical Treatment
Make your health a priority and seek immediate medical treatment after your workplace injury. Save all documentation, including your medical bills, diagnostic paperwork, and test results.
Failing to seek fast medical treatment opens the door to a debate about what happened to you and when it took place. If you wait days or weeks to see a doctor, it implies that your injury wasn’t serious and doesn’t match up with your account of what happened.
4- Providing an Incomplete Medical History
An injured person is often so focused on the current injury, they forget to provide a complete medical history. Your doctor needs to have this information so they can pinpoint your new injury to the occurrence at work.
It’s also important to establish whether you have any delayed symptoms. Make sure you mention previous instances of hurting yourself at work by slipping, lifting, or carrying objects.
Bring up any issues involving workplace illness or disease. Identify specific body parts that have been impacted, not just the part of your body that currently hurts the most. Give the doctor a full picture of your injury history so their analysis is as detailed as possible.
5- Accepting a Quick Settlement
Finally, don’t rush to accept a quick settlement for your injury. Accepting an offer brings the negotiations to an end and limits your ability to seek further compensation.
Any settlement offer you receive should receive an attorney’s careful review. If your employer or someone else is pressuring you to sign paperwork, don’t do it until you seek legal assistance.
At Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe, we can help you understand your options and advise you about your rights. Our goal is to help you focus on healing from your workplace injury while ensuring you’re gaining the maximum benefits you’re due under the law.
Connect With an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney
The process of filing a claim for workers’ compensation is challenging, especially when you’re worried about making a mistake. Proving workplace injuries requires the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. For a free consultation, contact Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe, PLLC. After-hours visits are available.